Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sidelines to Frontlines

Whew!  The last week and a half has been crazy in so many ways!  Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of last week were our full dress and technical rehearsals for “The Music Man” and Wednesday night was our final rehearsal that doubled as a preview night for a small audience of friends and family.  Everything went really well and the entire cast and crew were excited about opening night on Thursday.

Thursday morning around 11am I received a call from our director, saying that the actress who was playing the role of “Mrs. Paroo” (one of the major roles in the show!) had just come from the doctor and was very sick with the flu and would not be able to perform.  She asked if I thought I might be able to learn her part and fill in…without going into all the details of that very stressful, yet extremely exciting afternoon, in the end, I was able to memorize all of the lines and songs, capture the Irish accent that was needed for the part, and perform the role…with just 6 hours of rehearsal!  I felt honored to be able to perform the part for all 6 shows over the weekend.  God was truly with me and enabled me to perform this role, of that, I have no doubt whatsoever!  His ability far exceeds mine every time!  It was so much fun and something I will never forget!

After spending the previous 8 straight days at the theatre, we were due for some much needed family time, and thanks to the President’s Day holiday, the boys were out of school and I didn’t have to work, so we were off to the zoo!  Using my runner’s app, I logged in over 3 miles of walking the paths and trails while we visited our favorite animal friends, and even after such a long week, I felt energized and enjoyed the day.  Our local zoo has a huge outdoor jungle gym, complete with wooden forts and a maze of rope nets to climb through.  In the past, I would have happily made use of the benches they’ve provided for weary parents, but not anymore!  I climbed through everything right alongside my boys, and although I have to admit that I was a bit scared of the nets, I jumped on out there and climbed through them anyway!  Before we left, we took a ride on the carousel, and for the first time since I was a child, I actually climbed up and rode on one of the animals myself, instead of just sitting on a bench watching the boys go around.

So, between moving from an ensemble role to the part of Mrs. Paroo over the weekend, and choosing to play and participate in activities with my kids instead of just watching them have fun without me, I feel like this weekend I’ve taken a huge leap from the sidelines to the frontlines.  These are things that I would have never dreamed of doing 157 pounds ago, and I’ve loved every minute of it and been so thankful for these experiences!

Riding the carousel at the zoo!  Not the most flattering picture, but the only one we had time to grab before we had to get off or pay for another ride!
(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional or certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations.  It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences.  Thanks!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Functional is Fabulous!

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity!  Our rehearsals for “The Music Man” have ramped up to four days a week and are running between 3-4 hours each.  I can hardly believe the show opens next week!  Along with the show, I’m also still working 40 hours a week at the investment firm, with an additional 10 hours of commute time to get there and back each week, I’m taking care of my responsibilities at church, and I’m managing to sit down to dinner with my family every night.

We had our first rehearsal with costumes Monday evening, and it’s amazing how much that changes things and the extra amount of energy that takes.  I have four major costumes I wear in the production, and counting all of the shoes, hats, individual garments, and other accessories, I’ve got over 30 pieces to deal with personally, in addition to keeping up with all of my son’s costume pieces and changes as well.  I promise, I'll have pictures soon!  Oh yeah, and in between running back and forth to the dressing room and changing costumes every few minutes, I actually have to make it on stage for my scenes!

As I think about the frantic pace this show requires for rehearsals, and as we head into six performances each weekend for the next three weeks (one performance on Thursday and Friday evenings, and both matinee and evening performances on Saturdays and Sundays), I cannot help but realize that before I began losing weight, I could have never met the physical demands of a production like this.  I was barely managing to make it to work and church, and there’s no way I could have added a show of this level.  I was still directing productions with our church drama department, but I had to do it from a chair, which for someone who is as hands-on as I am by nature, that was an awful restriction to deal with!  Physically, I just could not have done “The Music Man”, and I would have missed out on the joy of performing in one of my all-time favorite productions and being able to do so with my oldest son.

In the past 19 months that I’ve been losing weight, however, I’ve experienced a complete turn around in my physical capabilities and mobility.  There was a time a couple of years ago where I had reached the point where it would take 20-30 minutes for me to go from a lying down position on the couch or bed to standing up because the pain in my back was so severe, and that is no exaggeration whatsoever.  Once I was finally standing, I could not remain on my feet for more than 2 or 3 minutes.  I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes or put on socks.  Trying to go into a store was terrible…an aisle or so in, and I would be bent over the shopping cart in tears, trying to take the pressure off my spine and looking for a bench somewhere to sit down.  I could barely get in and out of the car, and I always had to be dropped off at the door of anywhere I went with others so that I took as few steps as possible.  I retreated farther and farther into the role of a spectator in life, because I just couldn’t participate any longer.

The limitations I experienced when I was heavier were horrible, but I can honestly say that now, even though I’m not yet at my goal weight, I have absolutely none of the pain or problems I used to have.  Losing 157 pounds has given me my life back!

I can literally pop up out of bed.
I can get down on the floor and play with my children.
I can dance around the kitchen with my family.
I can stand as long as I need to. 
I can go to events and attractions and walk around all day. 
I can park at the far end of a parking lot. 
I can shop without dropping.  
I can stand all the way through the worship part of the services at church.
I can run.
I can do whatever I want to or need to do without my body holding me back.

My life, which used to be framed by the words “I can’t” is now defined by all of the “I can’s” I can possibly come up with!  Regaining complete function and mobility is fabulous! 

So…on with the show!

(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional or certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations.  It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences.  Thanks!)